Polishing Apple's profile for 2013
Compared to the market and the tech sector, the Mac maker's stock is fundamentally cheap.
Apple (AAPL) has been an excellent stock for my buy-and-trade strategy.
Looking back to Sept. 12 when I wrote on TheStreet that Apple was overvalued, the stock was trading at $660.59 -- on the way to an all-time high of $705.07 set on Sept. 21. At that time, Apple stock had a fair value at $609.12 making the stock 8.5% overvalued. The one-year price target was $700.63. Apple thus rallied to its one-year price target, then declined to its fair value.
But Apple failed to hold its 200-day simple moving average, then at $590.33, on Nov. 2, which accelerated its downside momentum. At the market's Nov. 16 lows, Apple's low was $505.75.
On Nov. 21, with Apple at $560.91, my suggested buy-and-trade strategy, as I wrote on TheStreet, was to book profits on strength to the stock's five-week modified moving average, then at $586.46. This test occurred on Nov. 26.
On Nov. 27 Apple was downgraded to hold from buy. The shares continued to have some upside to just above $594 on Nov. 29 and Dec. 3, but then turned lower in a move to as low as $501.23 on Dec. 17.
On Dec. 7, Apple was upgraded back to a buy rating, although the day before the stock was as low as $518.63. Even with the additional weakness to Dec. 17, the stock did rebound to $555.20 intra-day on Dec. 7.
The fundamentals for the stock market deteriorated further as 2013 began on Wednesday when the market outran its valuations and as the yield of the U.S. Treasury 30-year bond rose to 3.042% from 2.951% on Monday.
According to ValuEngine.com, 45.3% of all stocks are undervalued with 54.7% overvalued. And 15 of 16 sectors are overvalued with the oil-energy sector the cheapest at just 0.15% undervalued. Sectors overvalued by double-digit percentages rose to nine; construction by 24.5%, consumer staples by 19.3%, industrial products by 17.7%, finance by 15.2%, retail-wholesale by 15.0%, transportation by 14.7%, business services by 13.7%, computer & technology by 12.9% and aerospace by 12.8%.
Compared to the market and the computer and technology sector, Apple is fundamentally cheap. It has a buy rating according to ValuEngine, with fair value at $606.94 making the stock 9.5% undervalued. Apple has a favorable price-to-earnings ratio at 12.5. The one-year price target is $581.80. Fundamentally, Apple begins 2013 as a buy-and-trade candidate.
My proprietary analytics show that Apple has an annual value level at $510.64, suggesting that even if the stock falls below $500 in 2013 it will come back to $510.64 as a pivot, or magnet.
Semiannual and annual value levels are $470.21 and $421.05 with a monthly risky level at $604.86, a semiannual risky level at $651.60 and a quarterly risky level at $652.00. Odds are that Apple will stay below $700 for at least the first half of the year.
The monthly chart for Apple ended 2012 with a negative profile closing below its five-month modified moving average, now at $569.78.
Note that momentum (12x3x3 monthly slow stochastic) reading is declining below 80.00 after being overbought since the end of 2009. This keeps Apple a sell strength stock as 2013 begins, as a new all-time high is unlikely.
The weekly chart for Apple is negative but oversold with oversold momentum (12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic) reading below 20.00. A close this week above the five-week modified moving average at $546.35 shifts the weekly chart profile to neutral. If momentum is rising above 20.00 the chart would be positive.
The daily chart profile for Apple is positive with a momentum (12x3x3 daily slow stochastic) reading rising above 20.00. The stock is above its 21-day simple moving average at $532.86 but below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $559.14 and $599.86.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
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Consumers are very status conscious in Asia, Africa and other emerging-market areas. This is especially true in China.
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